KIGALI - The Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) has listed several public and private firms that default on remitting their employees’ contributions, The New Times has learnt.
Some organisations and companies reportedly deduct employees’ salaries but the money does not get to the fund. Prominent among the short-listed firms are; Kicukiro Training Centre (KTC), MINIMEX SA, PAMASOR, Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority (RHODA) and National Women Council among others.
Information available to The NewTimes from SSFR indicates that the pension body has already written to firms, directing them to comply or face the full wrath of the law.
The Social Security Fund of Rwanda is a public institution created in 1962 to manage the Social Security regime put in place by the Law of 15/11/1962. It is under the state guarantee and the tutelage is ensured by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
The SSFR is also investigating the existence of some companies who reportedly initially registered with the body in the past but their contacts are no longer traceable in the country.
“We have visited their alleged locations but were unable to trace them. We have decided to declare them non-existent,” Oswald Munyandekwe, Director of Contributions & Benefits at SSFR said.
In an interview last Thursday at his office in Kacyiru, Munyandekwe warned that companies found operating without their knowledge will be dealt with.
“When we get them, we shall force them to pay fines.”
Munyandekwe disclosed that about 3,000 employers had not remitted the employees’ savings in this year’s first quarter. According to Munyandekwe, when companies or employers fail to comply, their property risks being auctioned by SSFR.
Usually, SSFR writes to companies three times, asking them to comply. Failure to comply, a labour inspector from the Ministry of Public Service and Labour then steps in to freeze their assets.
This year alone, of 9,500 employers registered, only 6,500 complied.
The savings remitted mounted to Rwf3billion. This implies that about Rwf1.3billion from 3,000 employers was not sent.
A source from KTC who spoke on condition of anonymity denied SSFR’s claims. When contacted, Johnson Mushumba, the finance director at Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority denied the claims that his institution was not sending the employees’ remittances.
“We are a government agency and everything is done from the Ministry of Finance, before we pay the salaries,” Mushumba explained.
The government plans to merge the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) and the Rwanda Medical Insurance, RAMA. During the presentation of the planned merger to parliament, lawmakers protested SSFR’s trading on pensioners’ contributions.
The bill to merge SSFR and RAMA was tabled by the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Welfare, Specioze Mukandutiye in the presence of Finance Minister James Musoni.
SSFR has emerged as one of the largest investors in the country and last year, the pension body bought shares from Safaricom, a Kenya-based telecommunication company.
SSFR also owns shares in different banks, local and regional companies, and has invested in real estate.